Gil Fronsdal

‘A surprisingly high percentage of our happiness and woe is dependent on the viewpoints through which we interpret our experience, views which are often not only unexamined, but also unrecognized.  Operating invisibly, they become the source of further interpretations, conclusions and judgments we make about our experience, our selves, and others. When these underlying foundational views are unrecognized they can cast an aura of truth over these secondary interpretations, and therefore support a tendency to believe them unquestioningly.

An important function of insight retreats is cultivating adequate calm and clarity to discover these underlying viewpoints influencing us, and to see them for what they are–provisional, conditional, and distinct from direct experience. This in turn helps us to hold all views lightly, without being under their sway.  As the mind becomes calmer it becomes easier to discern which of our viewpoints are unnecessary and which are useful, which lead to distress and which lead to wellbeing, which interfere with the path of practice and which support it.

Meditating on retreat is an effective means to shed unnecessary and/or detrimental views. As the mind quiets, we can discover an ease and peace not ruffled by interpretations that keep us at a distance from the immediacy of our experience. We can even learn that it is useful to let go of active involvement with beneficial views when these are not needed. A mind not active with views gives us access to insights and wellbeing often inaccessible in daily life.’ (from the Insight Retreat Center website)

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